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Showing posts from August, 2014

Ofelia Dumas Lachtman's autograph (A Shell for Angela)

Better known for her ten young adult novels and numerous, award winning, bilingual picture books (in particular her Pepita series), Ofelia Dumas Lachtmanpublished her first and so far only novel for adults,A Shell for Angela, in 1995, at an age (seventy-five) when most writers, I can only presume, might be contemplating retirement rather than taking a new challenge head-on and the manifold risks involved writing in a brand new realm like literary fiction. But  Lachtman, born July 9th, 1919, and who still resides in her native Los Angeles, seems to have managed just fine.  Mother of two, Lachtman worked as a stenographer during WWII.

more autographs

Mona Simpson's autograph, Off Keck Road

Ajay Sahgal's autograph (Pool)

Ajay Sahgal dedicated his first and, so far, only novel, Pool (1994), to contemporary literature's longtime dastardly Prince of Nihilism and Narcissism (or, N&N), Bret Ellis.  Ellis' kindred twin of N&N, Jay McInerney (why yes, I do believe I'm name-dropping), whose longtime literary niche, like Ellis', has drifted for redundant decades in the shallows of N&N, wrote the middle blurb for the back cover of Pool, teasingly intimating that Ajay Sahgal was a "mad scientist" whose novel Pool was "a scary experiment" that someone just had to do.  I wish Ajay Sahgal hadn't done it, write Pool, though I'll admit I must agree with McInerney regarding his "scary" assertion about Pool, insofar as it was suggestive of Ajay Sahgal's flat prose that was so flat and, frankly, so foul, it scared me considering there once existed a publisher deluded and/or pompous enough to believe the novel was fit for publication.
I suppose I get …

A Child's Garden of Verses for the Revolution by William Eastlake

Yesterday, I finally bit on a first printing of poetry that'd been sitting on one of my local bookshop shelves for at least the last couple years, A Child's Garden of Verses for the Revolution (1970) by William Eastlake.  The book is prose poetry intermingled with narrative vignettes that are like a hybrid of short stories and social commentary blended in such a manner that they're practically rants. But lyrical, creative -- not shrill -- rants.  And though particular to their time, still resonates in our time today.  Here's an untitled sampling:

"We will cut
The bad guys off
At the pass,
But this will not be
A revolution in which
We shoot off the congressmen's heads.
They must have their heads on tight
In order to look back and see the
Damage they have done.
Killed off our youth in Vietnam,
Our blacks in Chicago,
Spent all our money
To accomplish their great deeds.
They also spent forty billion,
Burned alive three astronauts
To bring back a couple of
Rocks from the moon…

Hannah Holborn's autograph (Fierce: Stories and a Novella)

Hannah Holborn wowed me the first time I read her fiction.  Her short story, "Without Strings,"included in the superb 2008 anthology, Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Raising a Child with Special Needs, edited by the novelist Suzanne Kamata, blew me away it hit so close to home.

It was so painfully raw and honest, I was convinced that Holborn had to have had her own child with special needs in order to have written such a story so real, so true.  In the story, Alice is sharing with her mother the devastating news of her baby daughter's diagnosis: Angelman's.  Parents of typical children without chromosomal abnormalities cannot imagine* how crushing it is upon hearing the news that their child has a severely debilitating developmental disorder, and yet Hannah Holborn, who is not the parent of a special needs child, not only imagined it but nailed it.  After Alice receives little sympathy from her look-on-the-"upside"-of-life-mother and her mother'…

Lawrence Ferlinghetti's autograph (Routines)

Nothing's routine about

(see below),
(ever heard a Howl?),

Indie bookstore owner,

(see The Center for Death
or read it in Routines
before you die sometime),
Patron saint of poets dead & alive,
Idea Dude,

Lawrence Ferlinghetti --

Nothing's routine, that is, except
maybe this post about him; or,
this post that's not really about him at all, but his autograph.  Black felt ink that bled through the next two pages, on New Directions paper.

See, I have it.  And you probably don't!  Ha.  Look at that long slender "f" of ferlinghe#i.  Like a strand of escaped spaghetti!

But maybe you have one of his paintings?

Lucky you.